The music of Harrison Birtwistle

Adlington, R. (2000) The music of Harrison Birtwistle. Music in the Twentieth Century . Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. ISBN 9780521630825 (hardback) 9780521027809 (paperback)


Harrison Birtwistle has become the most eminent and acclaimed of contemporary British composers. This book provides a comprehensive view of his large and varied output. It contains descriptions of every published work, and also of a number of withdrawn and unpublished pieces. Revealing light is often cast on the more familiar pieces by considering these lesser-known areas of Birtwistle's oeuvre. The book is structured around a number of broad themes - themes of significance to Birtwistle, but also to much other music. These include theatre, song, time and texture. This approach emphasizes the music's multifarious ways of meaning; now that even the academic world no longer takes the merits of 'difficult' contemporary music for granted, it is all the more important to assess what it represents beyond mere technical innovation. Adlington thus avoids in-depth technical analysis, focusing instead upon the music's wider cultural significance.

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item